The customary Passing out Parade of the 12th Force Protection Company (FPC) for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNFIL) set to leave for Lebanon was held at the Regimental Headquarters, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment, (RHQ -SLSR) Ambepussa today.
Troops first presented a Guard Turn Out upon Major General Piyal Wickramaratne’s entry into the parade premises in accordance with military traditions.
The Chief Guest of the event, Major General Piyal Wickramaratne, Colonel of the Regiment, SLSR and Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF) after inspecting it was invited to inspect the parade before the salute in the traditional Guard of Honour was taken by him from a special dais at the venue and reviewed the parade.
In his brief address to the troops, Major General Wickramaratne urged each and every one of the contingent to protect the country’s identity, depicting professional standards, cultural values and dignity, associated with their responsibilities in Lebanon at all times.
‘You have been entrusted the most important assignment of protecting the UN Peace Keeping Headquarters in Lebanon and this has been very well done by all previous Sri Lankan contingents who went there. Your service, therefore need to be performed, maintaining highest standards of discipline because it is your conduct that reflects the quality of your profession and the Army, to which you belong,’ the Chief Guest told them.
The Lebanon-bound Sri Lanka’s Force Protection Unit (SLFPU) contingent is comprised of 10 officers and 140 other rankers and has been made up of with troops from the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR), Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE), Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC), Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR), Commando Regiment (CR), Special Forces (SF), Corps of Engineer Services (CES), Sri Lanka Army Service Corps (SLASC), Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps (SLAMC), Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME), Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps (SLAOC), Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police (SLCMP) and Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps (SLAGSC).
The first advance party of the SLFPU contingent (Seven Officers including the Commanding Officer and Forty Three Other Rankers) is scheduled to leave for Lebanon during the third week in February to assume duties. The contingent commanded by Lieutenant Colonel R.W.K Hewage SLSR and other troops will leave for Lebanon during 18-19 February and 6 March 2018.
The SLFPU in Lebanon, responsible for security and VIP duties at the UNIFIL Force Headquarters – Naquoura controls all the access routes to the UNIFIL Headquarters and is under command to the Force Headquarters Support Unit (FHQSU) which is directly under the Force Commander.
Since the year 2010, Sri Lanka Army has so far dispatched 11 such contingents to serve in Lebanon at the request of the UNIFIL. This mission was started in year 1978 and SL Army sent its 1st Contingent in year 2010. 1st SLSR contingent participated in year 2012 and this is the 2nd Contingent from SLSR.
Centre Commandants of troop contributing Regiments, Commanding Officers of SLSR Battalions, Staff Officers from Army Headquarters, Officers and Other Ranks of SLSR and relatives of participants were present to witness the parade. (Colombo Gazette)